Calling this just a “fruit salad” wouldn’t do it justice. I was at a Middle Eastern market today, and was immediately transported to the old spice route from way back when, spending well over an hour poring through different dried fruits, nuts, herbs, and spices from the different aisles. I was mesmerized, and after buying a package of juicy Adriatic figs, an idea for a Sahara desert-style dessert was starting to form in my head.
A couple of weeks ago, Susana, from Rishi Tea, had sent me a package of different tea samples – being the tea lover I am, I was super excited to start experimenting with tea, not only in drinking, but also in food (thanks, Susy!). Rishi Teas are organic and fair trade-certified. Their efforts for sustainability are especially important, and reading about their alliance with bamboo artisans in Hà Tây, Vietnam, made me even more appreciative of their efforts.
I eyed my package of Organic Maghreb Mint Green Tea, which has flavors of cardamom, ginger, peppermint, licorice root, fennel, clove, and black pepper. You can check out Susana’s awesome recipe for Maghreb mint chocolate chip cookies here. I brewed a cup of the tea, inhaling the sweet aroma of the peppermint, and then concluded that this would be perfect in my dessert.
It’s a simple preparation, with the infusion of the mint tea swirling around the sweet citrus of the clementines, and blending perfectly with green Persian raisins, roasted almonds, Adriatic figs, and cinnamon. I feel like it’s a type of dessert that Santiago, the sheperd in The Alchemist, would be eating on his travels through Morocco. Definitely not your typical fruit salad!
Clementine, Fig, and Almond Salad with Mint Tea Syrup
1/4 cup brewed Organic Maghreb Mint tea
2 Tbsp honey
3 clementines, peeled, segmented, seeded
1/8 tsp cinnamon
handful of green Persian raisins
8 dried Adriatic figs
1/4 cup roasted almonds, whole
1. Brew a cup of mint tea, reserving 1/4 cup for the salad and the rest for you to drink. Stir the honey into the hot mint tea until dissolved. In a medium bowl, add all ingredients, drizzling the mint-honey syrup over the fruits and nuts, tossing until combined. Allow the mixture to marinate for about 10 minutes before serving.